Back in the Game

Its been a long time since my last post on bonsai activity.  This is due to very difficult personal circumstances in my family life.  You may be aware that at the time of writing the last post back in May or June, my wife was pregnant and expecting our fourth child.  Unfortunately he passed away three weeks ago, aged almost five months.    I’ve taken leave from work as I recover from the stress of the past six months but sitting around dwelling on tragedy 24 hours a day isn’t always good and catching up on bonsai is giving me a small sense of purpose until I feel ready to work again. The time is now right for me to try and move on and think once again about the joy of wee trees.  One of the great things about developing bonsai is that, while it is engrossing, it is a very peaceful and contemplative past time.  This has helped.

So, first up, a long overdue preliminary styling of a cotoneaster microphylla that has been grown from seedling.  You can check out previous posts here and here.


Before (with fruit)


Fruit removed.  Trunk wired.


Styling finished.


Possible new front?

I enjoyed styling this and tried to eliminate any straight branching while being mindful of future negative space within the tree.  The long branch on the right of the last photo has been left to thicken the lower trunk hopefully improve taper.  The worst feature to me is the thick, exposed straight section of the lower trunk.  The tree is tilted so that this no longer points upward and now dips below the horizontal.  It’s beyond bending but I hope to mask it with foliage as it develops.  I’m looking forward to developing the branching over the next few years.


Cotoneaster Club Chop

NIBS club resumed last Friday night after a summer break and it was great to be back in the thick of things.  I brought with me a large cotoneaster that I dug up from the garden a few years ago.  I had repotted it earlier this year and waited until now to think about styling.


Before. With another Ben hiding amongst foliage.

Originally I’d always thought about keeping the long trunk as it previously had multiple trunks and I thought it best to keep one but recently I’ve not been convinced.  I went to club thinking that it could be chopped right down but wanted to get a few other opinions in case I’d missed something.

So, with Ben modelling and Phil doing the cutting, it truly was a club effort.  Here’s what I came away with at the end of the night.



It’ll be short and chunky with a deadwood trunk.  The foliage will grow into two main pads in future.  Some wiring at the next meeting needed but before then I’ll carve down the extra trunk stubs when I get a chance. Cheers Phil!